Russell Rovers make no mistake to cruise into Munster hurling final

Russell Rovers make no mistake to cruise into Munster hurling final
Referee Rory McGann ducks away from Russell Rovers' Daniel Moynihan's puck in the Munster hurling quarter-final. Picture: Don MacMonagle

Russell Rovers 2-21 Kilgarvan 1-11 

RUSSELL Rovers are through to the AIB Munster Junior Club Championship final following their victory over Kilgarvan in Killarney last Saturday afternoon. 

With the absence of a Clare representative this season they can now prepare for the decider.

It was a tough first half on the heavy surface for both sides, but to be honest, in the opening quarter Rovers were making life difficult for themselves.

It wasn’t really reflected in the opening five minutes when Rovers hit over three unanswered scores from Daniel Moynihan, Kieran Walsh and Luke Duggan Murray. Then Kilgarvan began to test the Russell Rovers full-back line with two points from play through Donal O’Sullivan and Sean Godfrey. Rovers replied with another Duggan Murray point, but then from the resulting puck-out the Kerry champions worked the ball down the field and a defensive mistake flicked the ball into the hand of the on-running O’Sullivan who buried the ball into the Rovers net to give his side the lead on the 10th minute.

Kilgarvan's John Mark Foley tackled by Russell Rovers' Kevin O'Brien in the Munster Junior Hurling quarter-final in Killarney. Picture: Don MacMonagle
Kilgarvan's John Mark Foley tackled by Russell Rovers' Kevin O'Brien in the Munster Junior Hurling quarter-final in Killarney. Picture: Don MacMonagle

This certainly got the attention of the Russell Rovers team who improved dramatically, the fright inspired the men from Shanagarry to start hurling the way they can. After a Josh Beausang free and a score from Jack McGrath to re-gain the lead, Rovers then put together a great move which resulted in a goal.

A golden triangle between Kevin Moynihan and Brian Hartnett found Luke Duggan Murray free and he belted the ball into the goal.

It was at this point in the match that Josh Beausang began to really impose himself on the game making several diagonal runs and raising white flags from the left side and the right side of Fitzgerald Stadium.

The sides exchanged a further two points point each before Rovers sent over two late scores to lead by six points at the short whistle and after a tricky start to the game, you could still only see one winner even at this early stage of the match.

The second half started sluggishly enough, but Rovers showed intent from the re-start with an early goal for Luke Duggan Murray his second of the match and again Hartnett was the supplier of the crucial pass.

Kilgarvin to their credit kept battling throughout the second half, but Rovers were more than equal to any attempts and responded on every occasion with Beausang lethally accurate from the placed ball opportunities amassing eleven points in the game.

Rovers continued to play right through to the 64th minute with late scores from Brian Hartnett, Beausang and James Kennifick to rubber-stamp what was a thoroughly professional performance in many ways.

Scorers for Russell Rovers: J Beausang 0-11 (0-6 f), L Duggan Murray 2-3,  K Walsh and D Moynihan 0-2 each, B Hartnett, J Kennifick and J McGrath 0-1 each.

Kilgarvan: D O’Sullivan 1-5, S Godfrey 0-4, D Casey 0-2.

RUSSELL ROVERS: R Walsh; K O’Brien, E O’Sullivan, P Lane; JP Ivers, J Kennifick, C Ruddy; K Tattan, K Walsh; D Moynihan (c), L Duggan-Murray, J McGrath; B Hartnett, J Beausang, K Moynihan.

Subs: D O’Brien for K Walsh (45), E McGrath for Jack McGrath (48), K Ivers for C Ruddy and J Ahern for K O’Brien (57), D Ruddy for D Moynihan (58). 

KILGARVAN: F O’Brien; G Donovan, P O’Shea, L Twomey; S O’Sullivan, JM Foley, C Godfrey; G Fennessy, J Foley; K Harrington (c), D O’Sullivan, R O’Sullivan; D Casey, S Godfrey, C Shorthall.

Subs: S Casey for C Godfrey (37), C Cremin for C Shorthall (45).

Referee: Rory McGann (Clare)

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